Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Kenya Headlines

500 "IDP"s (Internally Displaced Persons) from the Rift Valley region are suing for overdue reparations stemming from ethnic violence which preceded Kenya's first multi-party elections in 1992. Speaking of ethnic violence, some observers fear that the Mungiki, a religious splinter group of the infamous Mau Mau, are making a play for legitimacy. There's a hint of propaganda and fear-mongering about that article, I have to say.

Kenya ranks near the bottom of Transparency International's annual Corruption Index, but TI's director admits that he and the organizations representatives in Kenya may lack credibility due to their closeness to President Mwai Kibaki.

An excellent introductory article to the Kenyan constitutional debate. I haven't mentioned it here, but for illiterate voters the process has been reduced to colors; banana yellow for yes, orange for no. The middle has apparently begun referring to itself as fruit salad. I shit you not. In all seriousness, there is a lot at stake here, including abortion and gay rights, religious freedom, land rights, and the strength of labor unions. And there are plenty of dirty and/or illegal tactics being used to get out the vote.


Blogger David Moles said...

Yellow and orange? They couldn't have picked, say, yellow and purple, or green and orange?

I just finished (finally) Africa: Biography of a Contienent and I just put down In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz to pick up Emma's War. Not feeling good about Africa right now.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I was a little disappointed in Biography; I felt like he had just started the story. Although there were lots of fascinating tidbits throughout, and I found the idea of humans as a parasite which Africa as the place of origin was perfectly adapted to keep in check fascinating. Recent population trends are making that look less accurate, though.

6:23 PM  
Blogger David Moles said...

I liked the prehistoric parts of Biography better.

As for the population thing, I wonder if the last couple of centuries will really be more than a blip in the graph, in the long run . . .

9:35 PM  

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